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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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WILLIAM VO3ST  HTJMBQLBT.                    S0S
only ostensibly, as lie continued to work in the most
complete unanimity with the chancellor. Count
Dohna continued in his functions until jSfovember of
this year. With Hardenberg's accession to office^
unanimity and firmness were introduced into "business.
The financial difficulties were obviated, so that the
reforms at home could be effected with more security^
and the state became more dignified in its foreign
This was the crisis -which followed immediately after
Humboldt's request to return to Ms diplomatic career,
and in it must be sought his reasons for taking the
step. The critical situation of the ministry could not-
interfere with Ms labours, and its fell would have
cleared away many of the difficulties wMch beset Ms
path. But those differences had commenced before
the fall of the ministry had been determined, and it
may be that they had been caused by the interference
of the minister of finance in Humboldt^s department,
However tMs may be, the dissolution of the cabinet
did not change his resolution. Scarcely had the new
prime minister, Hardenberg, taken the reins of govern-
ment, than Humboldt's wish was granted., and he wass
on the 14fth July, appointed ambassador extr^>rdiaary
and plenipotentiary at the Austrian court, and tike
title of a privy minister of state was bestowed on him.
Besides the importance of this posb under the circum-
stances of those times, ther% could not, as the EomaxL
embassy remained vacant, be a* more agreeable posfe
than this.
Though Humboldt must have regretted leaving his
situation, and even Berlin, in such an intellectually
excited period, the thought might have consoled him*
that he would now have more opportunity for culti-
vating Ms scientific studies, without neglecting the
requirements of his fatherland, wMch had beea^ im-
possible during the period he filled the office of minister
of instruction.
Nicolovius was appointed provisionally to superin-
tend the direction of that department.    The news of